The early Bronze Age pottery from Tel Yin'am, Israel




Iruegas, Sergio A. (Sergio Arturo), 1964-

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This study will focus on the Early Bronze I (EB I) ceramics from Tel Yin'am located near Moshav Yavne'el in the Lower Galilee (See Figure 1). The archaeological expedition at this sites was conducted by Dr. Harold A. Liebowitz of the University of Texas at Austin from 1976 to 1989. The EB I pottery was collected during a two week excavation season in October of 1978 from the outlying terrace settlement in a 10 x 10 m square area 50 m west of the mound. The ceramic assemblage is represented by bowls, jars, and hole-mouth vessels. Discussions of the archaeological context, pottery typology, and petrographic analysis of the pottery in this thesis are divided into four chapters. Chapter one is a detailed discussion of the site's location, and exploration history. Grid plans of excavation Areas -A, -B, -C, and -D are illustrated and superimposed to illustrate the relationship of the areas on the mound. Also included is a brief summary of the excavation results on the mound since 1976. Excavation results of Area-D on the terrace settlement are described in chapter two. Chapter two briefly describes the methodology employed during the excavation and focuses on the stratigraphic context of the ceramic assemblage found in two distinct phases. During the discussions of meager architectural remains and two cobble stone surfaces, Strata XIV A and XIV B, archaeological features are explained with descriptions and their locus numbers in parenthesis. Top plans illustrating the architectural remains on these surfaces and tables, which list the pottery discovered in situ, are utilized to illustrate the two cobble stone surfaces. Chapter three deals with the ceramic analysis of the EB I forms and types found at Tel Yin'am and their relationship with other sites in northern and southern Israel and several sites in Syria and Anatolia. In this chapter I will focus on three primary points. First, the lower and upper cobble stone surfaces are dateable to the EB IB and EB IC periods respectively. Inverted bowl rims, which are hallmark bowl forms of EB IB, are found in the lower phase, and a red burnished carinated everted rim bowl that is similar in form to Wright's Type 3 gray lustrous ware form of EB IC (Wright 1958:41-43) is found in the upper phase. Second, northern ceramic influences from Syria and Anatolia had slightly effected the ceramic styles of the potters at Tel Yin'am as evidenced by platter forms that have more in common with those discovered at Tell Hadidi than any where else in Israel (Dornemann 1988:18), and by the practice of incising the lips of bowl and jar rims, which was a common attribute of vessels discovered at Habuba Kabira (Heinrich, et. al., 1971:23, 26, 27; 1974:30-32). Third, that the inhabitants of Tel Yin'am were importing some of their pottery since two Tel Yin'am bowls have quartz sand inclusions, which is not indigenous to the Tel Yin'am area. Chapter four is the heart of this study which is a discussion and analysis of mineral properties based on thin-section samples of rim sherds of selected ceramic forms. An example of the benefits of petrographic analysis is the insight of ceramic production practices carried out by the Tel Yin'am potters, which were similar to some of the ceramic practices of the potters from Arad. Petrographic analysis was helpful in distinguishing between hole-mouth vessels and cooking pots